“Thanksgiving lessons jettison pilgrim hats, welcome truth”
This headline from the Associated Press exploded inside my skull when I saw it three days ago, and in the dust that settled, I read an important lesson about what has been lost as the enemies of American culture have whittled away at the stories that once united us in the effort to make us hate ourselves and apologize for our glorious history. Please have patience, and follow me as I trace the path by which I reached some fresh but troubling insights into our current moment. Continue reading
Posted in culture, current events, divisiveness, education, freedom, history, language, literature, narrative, politics, story
Tagged culture, education, history, identity, language, literature, narrative, story
The day was Friday, November 13. The time was 1:15 p.m. The occasion was my online-scheduled, social-distanced, not-so-express pickupped iPhone 12 Pro Max. With the alternating frenzy and lethargy of the last two weeks, I was uncharacteristically and unapologetically eager to let myself go and have a real treat. And so it was. Below, I am sharing a few carefully curated photos from an afternoon of fun with my new phone–and with Pavel’s version of fun, a few brewskis.
Click on the photos below to witness some of the features of this new marvel of technology and art all in one:
Waiting at the Apple Store, Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh
Hmmm . . . What does “Do I Do” mean?
NOW I understand! Pavel and I have to stand one dumbbell apart.
I certainly understand this one.
Apple employees awaiting the call for the next order.
Yes, I finally got my phone. Those people in the winding queue behind me may still be waiting!
Despite the glorious, almost too-warm temperatures for a day six weeks into autumn, I took off for my late-morning walk with a heavy heart. I was depressed, outraged, and frightened over lost hopes for a return to American values, a stolen election, and Soviet-style intrusions into the lives of patriots only one day after the election has been called. I remain so after my return. However, the catharsis of a brisk walk, the dark tale of The Idiot that I listened to on my AirPods, and unique sights of autumn on Old Beulah Road gave me a needed reminder of my own smallness in this magnificent universe. I realized–nay, I experienced–that there are still moments of startling beauty on the Earth, that there are minute ideas to be examined closely, and voluminous philosophies to be pondered endlessly.
I am posting this photo gallery, largely unedited–the day presented raw–to remind myself and to reassure my readers of the important lessons in our tempestuous times. Continue reading
Altarpiece at St. Mary’s Church in Wittenberg (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1547)
This post has been germinating almost as long as we–human beings, Americans, North Carolinians, Christians, Episcopalians–have been altering the patterns of our lives and our relationships with one another and with God in response to the novel coronavirus. Other preoccupations, however, pushed it aside. Preparing online instruction for six classes and then conducting office hours and presenting lectures in cyberspace took up most of my time. When I came up (down?) for air long enough to make a post on my blog about the effects of COVID-19, the concern for lost freedom momentarily overtook the more pressing concern for lost faith, and I wrote instead about arbitrary lockdowns, malleable truths, and an eroding Constitution. Continue reading
Posted in church, current events, Easter, faith, Lent, religion
Tagged Book of Common Prayer, COVID-19, Episcopal Church, faith, First Amendment, Kairos, religion, Thomas Cranmer
Below is a translation from French into English of my May 8 post:
Like other writers of the 19th century (e.g. Charles Dickens in England and Alexandre Dumas in France), Guy de Maupassant first published his story “A Vendetta” in a newspaper, Le Gaulois, on October 14, 1883. The story takes place in Corsica in the lives of four characters: the widow Saverini, her son Antoine, her dog Semillante, and the murderer Nicolas Ravolati. Continue reading
Posted in books, education, French, geography, language, literature, review, writing
Tagged education, French, Guy de Maupassant, language, literature, word, writing
Comme autres écrivains du 19e siècle (par ex. Charles Dickens en Angleterre et Alexandre Dumas en France), Guy de Maupassant a d’abord publié son histoire «Une vendetta» dans un journal, Le Gaulois le 14 octobre 1883. L’histoire se déroule en Corse dans la vie des quatre personnages : La veuve Saverini, son fils Antoine, la chienne Sémillante et le meurtrier Nicolas Ravolati. Continue reading
The question mark in my title was well and thoroughly considered. I actually have no idea which was the first of the constantly rising number of casualties of the COVID-19 pandemic. But I am aware of many.
And no, my title does not refer to the death of the first anonymous but notorious person who died from exposure to the novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, nor to an elderly man in Padua, Italy, nor even to a patient in a nursing home in King County, Washington. Nor does it refer to any among the constantly updated statistics of human victims around the world, enumerated so matter-of-factly and with such precision by worldometer: “32,164 people have died so far from the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak as of March 29, 2020, 14:51 GMT.” I can’t possibly keep up, nor can worldometer–nor can the World Heath Organization nor the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ay, there’s the rub. Continue reading
Posted in Bill of Rights, critical thinking, current events, etymology, First Amendment, free speech, freedom, nature, news, politics, religion
Tagged common sense, coronavirus, COVID-19, First Amendment, freedom, Freedom of religion, freedom of the press, logic, truth